Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

German military must be strong enough to deter Russia from attacking, says Scholz

Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany was seeking closer ties with countries that share its values, citing Japan and India, among others.

Lisi Niesner | Reuters

The German leader said a strong army was needed to ensure Russia did not plan to attack him.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz also said on Thursday that Putin clung to the idea of ​​a “forced peace” in Ukraine and that would not work, Reuters reported.

Speaking in Tokyo, Scholz said Germany was seeking closer ties with countries that share its values, citing Japan and India, among others.

—Holly Ellyatt

Central bank policy must be cautious amid threat of gas shock, official says

Bank of Italy Governor and ECB Governing Council member Ignazio Visco warns that central bank policy must remain cautious amid the threat of Russian war in Ukraine, but warns that a rise in third trimester could be considered.

Holly Ellyatt

Exxon Reportedly Declared Force Majeure on Sakhalin-1 Operations

The site of the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas onshore processing facility of Exxon Neftegas Ltd. is pictured near Nogliki, Sakhalin Island.

Hector Forster | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Exxon Mobil’s Russian unit, Exxon Neftegas, has declared force majeure on its Sakhalin-1 operations, Reuters reported.

In a written response to Reuters, a spokesperson said Exxon was taking steps to exit the oil and gas project, which includes meeting contractual and commercial obligations.

The company previously announced that it would cease operations in Russia, including exiting the project.

Reuters reported that project stakeholders were facing growing difficulties in shipping crude oil from the region due to sanctions against Russia, fear of reputational risk and difficulty in finding insurance cover.

—Chelsea Ong

‘We would never feel safe again’ if Putin succeeds in Ukraine, says UK

“If Putin succeeds, there will be even more misery across Europe and terrible consequences across the world,” UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said.

Mateusz Wlodarczyk | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Ukraine’s fate hangs in the balance and Western allies must “double down” on their support for the country to ensure Putin’s failure in Ukraine, Britain’s foreign secretary said on Wednesday.

“A victory for Ukraine is a strategic imperative for all of us,” Liz Truss said in a speech in London last night, as she argued that the industrialized nations of the Group of Seven and their allies must keep up the pressure on the Russia through tougher sanctions, including “cutting off oil and gas imports once and for all,” providing additional military aid and continued humanitarian support.

“If Putin succeeds, there will be even more misery across Europe and terrible consequences across the world,” she said, adding that “we will never feel safe again.”

“So we have to be ready for the long term and double our support for Ukraine,” she said. Truss’ comments come at a time when tensions between Western nations and Russia have risen dramatically, with President Vladimir Putin warning that Russia will retaliate against any intervention in the war in Ukraine.

Holly Ellyatt

Blinken says Europe has ‘ambitious’ plans to reduce its energy dependence on Russia

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken listens during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Washington, U.S., April 26, 2022. Blinken and the Secretary of Defense pledged a total of $713 million on Monday dollars in foreign military funding for Ukraine and 15 allied and partner nations.

Al-Draco | Reuters

European countries have “really ambitious” plans to reduce their dependence on Russian energy, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, adding that “further progress” was expected on Russian oil imports in the weeks to come. to come.

“The Europeans have, I think, really ambitious plans to move away from this dependence on Russian energy. The challenge is to implement them,” Blinken said during a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. . About half of Russia’s 4.7 million barrels of daily crude exports are destined for the EU. Cutting them would deprive Moscow of an important source of revenue.

“I think you will probably see in the coming weeks further progress on the oil side of the equation in terms of Russian imports. Gas is a bigger challenge,” he added.

The European Union is considering options to cut Russian oil imports amid possible new sanctions on Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine, but none have been formally offered as governments weigh their impact.


White House set to make ‘massive’ funding request for more Ukraine aid

A C-130 Hercules taxis on the flightline July 14, 2014, at Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kelly Goonan | United States Air Force

The White House is preparing to send a request to Congress for additional assistance to Ukraine as early as Thursday, administration officials confirmed to NBC News.

Officials described the amount of the request as “massive”, but did not provide a specific amount as some details have not been finalized.

Officials said the dollar amount sought should be enough to fund US support for Ukraine through the end of the current fiscal year, which ends in September. Since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, the Biden administration has authorized $3.4 billion in military assistance.

Last week, President Joe Biden said he lacked funding authorized by Congress and would send a request to lawmakers soon.

The latest $800 million military aid package, which is the eighth tranche of aid, comes after eight weeks of war and as Russian forces prepare for renewed combat in eastern and southern Ukraine.

Amanda Macias

Putin threatens retaliation against anyone who interferes with the war in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin walks past a guard during a ceremony honoring the country’s Olympians and Paralympians at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia April 26, 2022.

Maxim Chemetov | Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned world leaders against interfering in what he continues to call a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

“I want to emphasize once again, the special military operation in Ukraine and Donbass, which began in February, all goals will definitely be achieved to ensure the safety of people in the Donetsk People’s Republic and the People’s Republic of Luhansk, Russian Crimea and our whole country,” Putin told the Council of Russian Legislators in St. Petersburg.

He said the Russian military had prevented a “real threat to our homeland”. Putin added that the Kremlin would retaliate against anyone who interfered with the ongoing military operation.

“Our response, our retaliation, these attacks will be lightning fast. We have all the instruments for that. Such instruments that no one can boast of…and we will use them if need be. I want everyone know that,” Putin said.

It was not immediately clear what was meant by instruments. Putin also said the rounds of global sanctions against Russia had failed to “choke us economically”.

Amanda Macias

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